tor + privoxy: anonymous browsing on Ubuntu

tor_compWhile the tor-browser (a firefox mod) uses the Tor network for anonymity by default, you can also configure your favourite browser or stock Firefox to use the Tor network. The tor network is a bandwidth sharing network with advanced algorithms to route your data anonymously. Privoxy is a proxy server with content filtering and advertisement blocking. This article explains how to use both together to run an anonymous proxy on Ubuntu. From there, it’s just a matter of browser configuration to use the proxy.

It’s always advisable to use the latest stable version of Tor. To install it on Ubuntu Trusty, run:

$ echo "deb http://deb.torproject.org/torproject.org trusty main" | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list.d/torproject.list > /dev/null
// Note: replace trusty above with the codename of the Ubuntu release you have
$ gpg --keyserver keys.gnupg.net --recv 886DDD89
$ gpg --export A3C4F0F979CAA22CDBA8F512EE8CBC9E886DDD89 | sudo apt-key add -
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install tor deb.torproject.org-keyring

Install privoxy:

$ sudo apt-get install privoxy

Edit /etc/privoxy/config and uncomment the following line:

forward-socks5   /               127.0.0.1:9050 .

Start both the services:

$ sudo service tor start
$ sudo service privoxy start

Check the status of both:

$ sudo service tor status
* tor is running
$ sudo service privoxy status
* privoxy is running

Check if privoxy is listening on port 8118:

$ netstat -ant | grep 8118
tcp        0      0 127.0.0.1:8118          0.0.0.0:*               LISTEN

Check that your IP address is different from the one assigned by your ISP:

$ export http_proxy="http://localhost:8118"
$ curl ipecho.net/plain ; echo
189.16.167.122
$ whois 189.16.167.122
...

To use your own anonymous proxy, add the following settings to your browser:

Proxy: 127.0.0.1
Port: 8118

To use rTorrent over tor, add the following to ~/.rtorrent.rc:

http_proxy = 127.0.0.1:8118
proxy_address = 127.0.0.1:8118

Ref: Tor on Arch wiki.

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